KM Guru – Larry Prusak

April 21, 2009

I had the opportunity to meet one of KM’s biggest thinkers and practitioners, Larry Prusak, at the Working Knowledge conference. Larry along with Tom Davenport run the Working Knowledge Center at Babson. Soon Larry will be retiring from the Babson Center, and Brook Manville will help Tom continue their research.

This was Larry’s last Working Knowledge conference as co-founder and he prepared a brief talk reflecting on his observations and experiences in the KM field.

Here they are as best as I could summarize:
• Knowledge is social
• Trust within the group is a key ingredient to success in KM
• Learning is the vowel of which knowledge is the verb
• History counts, it provides boundaries and what is possible
• Innovation, Collaboration and Learning
• Companies experience amnesia when KM works
• Democratization of knowledge is here to stay
• One economics, many countries


“Its the community stupid!” – Boston KM Forum

April 1, 2009

I was able to spend part of my day yesterday at the Boston KM Forum’s Leveraging Virtual Teams & Social Tools for Business Advantage: Blogs, Wikis, Twitter, et al. Note slides are available at the Boston KM Forum site. The first speakers were Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps from Netage. This was a great presentation about virtual teams and how to make them more successful. They co-wrote the HBR article (along with a bunch of books) “Can Absence Make a Team Grow Stronger?” Three rules from the article:

  • Rule 1: Exploit Diversity
  • Rule 2: Use Technology to Simulate Reality
  • Rule 3: Hold the Team Together
  • Jack Vinson at Knowledge Jolt also blogged about the article when it first came out in 2004. Jessica also blogs about the event at her blog Endless Knots.

    The next speaker was Ken George from WBUR. Ken’s presentation was great because it was visual and not a lot of bullet points on slides. The quote for this blog entry was from Ken’s presentation as he spoke about the challenges of using social media tools in the non-profit context. Overall I was impressed by WBUR’s effort to embrace social media and encourage participation from their devoted fans.

    The last presentation I saw before leaving was from Suzanne Minassian from IBM Lotus. She presented on the evolution of social media tools within IBM and how some of them actually made it into some of IBM’s products today.

    Marc Solomon also blogged about the event.